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X-rays have such a short wavelength that they can pass through the human body. X-ray sensitive film can take pictures of what goes on inside the body, showing the solid parts of the body clearly. X-rays have very high energy, so to reduce the danger of this energy damaging the body, people who carry out x-rays stand behind a protective screen while taking them.
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First broadcast:
20 March 2008

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used when describing different uses of radiation. Ask students to investigate all potential hazards from radiation and draw up the electromagnetic spectrum to pinpoint where X-rays fit.
Students could consider safety procedures related to use of X-rays. How are doses controlled and measured? Why are lead and other materials used as protective barriers? What effect could a gradual build-up of exposure have on medical staff? As an extension, this could be related to how the ionosphere protects us from radiation and the measures that are in place to protect astronauts out-with the Earth's atmosphere.

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